Mon. Jul 15th, 2024

Supreme Court to weigh state restrictions on gender-affirming care for youths

By 37ci3 Jun24,2024

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday joined the culture-war debate over gender-affirming care for transgender minors, agreeing to settle challenges to a Tennessee law that seeks to limit it.

The justices will hear the Biden administration’s appeal of the court order upholding the measure. Oral arguments and a decision are expected in the next term of the trial, which begins in October and ends in June 2025.

It will be the first time the court will rule in a battle over transgender rights for teenagers that has raged in both health and education contexts.

A young man holds a Pride Flag outside the House of Representatives before a legislative session on February 26, 2024 in Nashville, TN.
A young man holds a Pride Flag outside the Tennessee House chambers before a legislative session in February.George Walker IV / AP

“The future of this and countless transgender youth in generations to come rests on this Court sticking to the facts, the Constitution and its modern precedent,” said Chase Strangio, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, which also challenged the law.

The state measure restricts puberty blockers, hormone therapy and minor surgery.

In a separate case, in April, a court allowed Idaho to enforce the rule similar law.

There are more than 20 states adopted similar prohibitions, according to the Movement Development Project, an LGBTQ rights think tank. Whatever the court decision is, it will affect those states as well.

Major medical organizations say gender-affirming therapies are an effective way to treat gender dysphoria, the clinical term given to people who suffer when their gender identity conflicts with the gender they were assigned at birth.

The plaintiffs, including transgender teenagers and their families, say the law violates the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which requires the law to apply equally to all, in part by barring transgender people from medical treatment available to others. They also say the law infringes on parents’ right to make decisions about their children’s health, though the Supreme Court won’t weigh in on the issue.

Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar urged the Supreme Court to address the issue, saying the law is “part of a wave of similar bans that prevent transgender teenagers from getting the medical care they, their parents and their doctors decide they need.”

A federal judge banned puberty blockers and hormone therapy in Tennessee, but banned the surgeries.

In a separate Kentucky case, the justices failed to act, with a federal judge blocking a ban on puberty blockers and hormone therapy. The plaintiffs did not object to the restrictions on the transaction.

In September, the US 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati ruled in favor of the states in both laws.

Judge Jeffrey Sutton wrote that no one questioned “the existence of gender dysphoria or the distress it causes,” but indicated that the question of what treatments are available for those 17 or younger should be left to elected officials.

“This is a relatively new diagnosis, with care approaches constantly changing over the last decade or two. Under these circumstances, it is difficult for anyone to predict the long-term consequences of abandoning any age restrictions for these treatments,” he wrote.

The plaintiffs then asked the Supreme Court to intervene. The court has so far stayed out of the controversy surrounding transgender students.

Supreme Court in 2021 refused to address the issue of transgender students being able to use school bathrooms that match their gender identity as legal battles continue across the country. Court turned away a similar event in January.

Last year, the court on a related matter allowed a transgender girl To participate in girls sports at West Virginia.

The biggest intervention of the court in trans issues is written big A surprise 6-3 verdict in 2020 written by conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch. He ruled that a federal law banning sex discrimination in employment protected transgender and gay people, a decision that angered conservatives.

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By 37ci3

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